"This Harbeth User Group (HUG) is the Manufacturer's own managed forum dedicated to natural sound from microphone to ear, achievable by recognising and controlling the numerous confounding variables that exist along the audio chain. The Harbeth designer's objective is to make loudspeakers that contribute little of themselves to the music passing through them.

Identifying system components for their sonic neutrality should logically proceed from the interpretation and analysis of their technical, objective performance. Deviations from a flat frequency response at any point along the signal chain from microphone to ear is likely to give an audible sonic personality to the system at your ear; this includes the significant contribution of the listening room itself. To accurately reproduce the recorded sound as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would be best advised to select system components (sources, electronics, cables and so on) that do not color the sound before it reaches the speakers.

For example, the design of and interaction between the hifi amplifier and its speaker load can and will alter the sound balance of what you hear. This may or may not be what you wish to achieve, but any deviation from a flat response is a step away from a truly neutral system. HUG has extensively discussed amplifiers and the methods for seeking the most objectively neutral among a plethora of product choices.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, getting at the repeatable facts in a post-truth environment where objectivity is increasingly ridiculed. With our heritage of natural sound and pragmatic design, HUG is not the best place to discuss non-Harbeth audio components selected, knowingly or not, to introduce a significantly personalised system sound. For that you should do your own research and above all, make the effort to visit an Authorised Dealer and listen to your music at your loudness on your loudspeakers through the various offerings there. There is really no on-line substitute for time invested in a dealer's showroom because 'tuning' your system to taste is such a highly personal matter. Our overall objective here is to empower readers to make the factually best procurement decisions in the interests of lifelike music at home.

Please consider carefully how much you should rely upon and be influenced by the subjective opinions of strangers. Their hearing acuity and taste will be different to yours, as will be their motives and budget, their listening distance, loudness and room treatment, not necessarily leading to appropriate equipment selection and listening satisfaction for you. Always keep in mind that without basic test equipment, subjective opinions will reign unchallenged. With test equipment, universal facts and truths are exposed.

If some of the science behind faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians over Harbeth speakers is your thing, this forum has been helping with that since 2006. If you just want to share your opinions and photos with others then the unrelated Harbeth Speakers Facebook page may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"

Feb. 2018
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Hearing damage - it creeps up on you ....

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  • Hearing damage - it creeps up on you ....

    A tale of caution concerning Sir George Martin. I've mentioned meeting him about ten years ago, and even then his hearing was severely impaired and I had to raise my voice to be audible to him.

    He's quoted as saying the high notes damaged his hearing. I'd suspect that it was in fact a combination of loudness + frequency + length of exposure that caused the damage.
    Attached Files
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  • #2
    Hi Alan,

    Should we combine this story with your other post regarding the damaged tweeter? :-)

    Grt. Mike


    • #3
      Share info

      Its nice to know. But I just need some more information about it. The share thumbnail is facing some problem in download.
      got interested and curious to read the research. Can you share something about it.


      • #4
        10,000 watts at the ready ....

        When I think of the amount of extremely loud music (live and recorded) I exposed myself to in my youth, I thank my lucky stars my hearing's still good - I've had it tested - and shake my head at my youthful folly.

        It's hard to believe that the level of sound exposure at concerts - rock and pop concerts in particular - isn't regulated in some way. Okay, maybe 85 dB would be a little low, but something in the mid- or high 90s perhaps would provide for plenty of wallop without the insanity of 110 - 120 dB sound pressure levels.

        I remember a few concerts - all too few, unfortunately - that were amplified to a loud-ish but still quite comfortable level. Most, unfortunately, seemed to be in the hands of people who had tens of thousands of watts available and no compunction about using every last one of them.


        • #5
          Custom moulded ear pluga - a great idea

          I enjoy seeing bands play live but all too often the experience is ruined by appalling PA mixes. To be honest I can count the number of times I've heard really good amplified sound with one hand! (Two of those occasions were thanks to David Gilmour and his superb engineer, Andy Jackson.)

          To spare my hearing from the continued excesses of live engineers I invested in some custom molded ear plugs, and would encourage other HUG members to explore this avenue.


          • #6
            Listening less loud

            Resurrecting a short but important thread, saw this webpage and figured it is worth posting, I for one have bought Harbeth in part to give me musical satisfaction at lower volume levels.

            Getting to know my C7ES3